I’m just gonna leave this one hanging out there for you guys.
Daily Archives: December 3, 2015
In case you were wondering…
Gonna be a fun couple of weeks of bowl practice, that’s for sure.
UPDATE: Somebody’s in charge.
UPDATE #2: More details from Seth Emerson.
UGA said in a statement that offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt – as well as “all other assistant coaches” – will “remain in their present roles with current responsibilities.”
McClendon was described by several people close to Georgia’s staff as a good choice for the role.
“I’ve asked Bryan to assume all administrative duties of the head coach,” athletics director Greg McGarity said in a statement. “This will be the least disruptive option for our players and staff as they begin preparations for our bowl game.”
WSB reporter Zach Klein first reported the news, and a source later told Klein that Richt became “very emotional” at the meeting, telling players he had “all intentions” of coaching the bowl game, but the Miami job was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
The fact that Richt has taken the Miami job does not absolve UGA from paying the full buyout, according to a reading of his contract and verified by a source familiar with the situation. That’s because the decision was made by UGA to fire Richt, thus putting him on the market.
But the contracts for Pruitt and Schottenheimer offer a different reading, as they’re set up differently.
Pruitt and Schottenheimer are each still under contract for two more seasons after this one. The buyout on each of their deals is the remaining salary, so in Pruitt’s case (his salary is $1.3 million) it would be approximately $2.6 million, and for Schottenheimer it would be approximately $1.9 million.
Neither is expected to be retained by incoming head coach Kirby Smart. (Though it has yet to be ruled out, as Smart has not said anything publicly yet.)
If either Pruitt or Schottenheimer accepts another job between now and when Smart takes over, then UGA is essentially in the clear on their buyouts. Again, that’s according to a reading of their contracts and a source familiar with the situation.
But if Pruitt or Schottenheimer has not accepted a job by the time they are officially not retained by Smart – in essence, fired – then they are owed their buyout.
However, unlike Richt, if either coordinator subsequently takes another job then whatever they are earning would be prorated out of what UGA owes them.
Seems to me if you’re Jeremy Pruitt, you might think about offering your services to an enterprising head coach at a significant discount for the next couple of seasons. If you’re Greg McGarity, maybe you’re whispering in Smart’s ear not to rush into any hasty coordinator hiring decisions.
And, yes, I’m kidding. I think.
Never one to want to fall behind a trend, ESPN jump starts the Gus Bus 2016 Hot Seat meme.
Harvey Updyke’s not doing too well with those restitution payments to Auburn.
Unless he’s an incoming Georgia football head coach, that is.
It looks like it will take awhile for Kirby Smart to take over as Georgia’s coach on a full-time basis.
Smart is expected to remain with Alabama through the national playoff or even its bowl. That’s according to Phil Savage, who is the radio analyst for Alabama games. Savage’s remarks came on XM/Sirius radio.
The two national semifinal games are on Dec. 31, while the national championship is Jan. 11.
Sure as hell hope Kirby gets his staff in place ASAP. He’ll need all the help he can get on the recruiting trail.
Shorter LSU President F. King Alexander: Yeah, handing Les Miles $15 million while we’re begging the state for more money probably wouldn’t be such a hot idea.
Gee, I wonder why this popped into my head last night.
Bobby Bowden, on when he knew the end was near for Mark Richt:
Although Bowden had heard Richt’s job was in jeopardy, he never really thought the school would fire a coach that finished the regular season 9-3, won 74 percent of his games (145-51) and made 15 consecutive bowl appearances.
“I thought it would be a replay of the LSU thing, as soon as the last game is over we’ll announce he’ll be back,” Bowden said, referring to the about-face LSU officials did with Les Miles. “Then I heard after the game with Georgia Tech the athletic director didn’t show up in the locker room. Most of my games after the game, the athletic director [would] come into the locker room to congratulate you or commiserate with you…”
Eh, by then, Greg McGarity was digging down deep and listening to his gut. Or something.
It won’t surprise you to learn there’s plenty of shallow analysis regarding the coaching changes in Athens and Miami out there right now – if I had a buck for every “Jesus comes to ‘Da U” piece I’ve seen already, I could buy a nice dinner for two – but there are a couple of intelligent pieces I’ve come across with some observations worth sharing.
First, here’s what Bruce Feldman has to say about some of the events leading to Mark Richt’s dismissal:
This season, though, Richt’s program backslid, going 9-3 and getting blown out by rival Florida and by Alabama. The Dawgs didn’t defeat a single ranked team. As FOX Sports reported in early November, Richt had lost some of the support of the big UGA boosters after the 27-3 debacle vs. Florida and first-year coach Jim McElwain. Beyond that, sources told FOX Sports that Richt was dealing with lots of friction inside the Georgia football program, some of it stemming from the old-guard Bulldog staff vs. the new guard regarding many of the changes in how the Dawgs program is run.[Emphasis added.]
Many of these changes, from staffing moves to operational decisions to how the team gets ready for its games, were pushed for by second-year Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, a Nick Saban disciple who came to Athens after helping lead Florida State to the national title following the 2013 season.
None of which should come as any real shock to those of us who have been following the program closely this season. Hell, Richt pretty much confirmed that at his last press conference when he said,
If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t say so much as going backwards as much going forwards, if I do decide to coach again that especially as a head coach and trying to do these things, which I would want to do, I have to make sure there’s enough support around me to do certain things. Also let people on the front end, I’m going to be coaching in the offseason too. I’m going to be preparing for the season and just get the expectations to where everybody understands where I’m at on the front end.
When I first came here, I had never been a head coach. I didn’t know anything. Well, I knew a little bit, looking at Coach Dooley over there. There’s a lot of things I didn’t know. I didn’t know the Georgia culture. I didn’t know a lot of things. I’ve learned a lot. I learned a lot…
How does a change of head coaches, in and of itself, mend the culture? Answer: it doesn’t. So, then, is it reasonable to expect Kirby Smart to succeed in ways Mark Richt didn’t? Let Andy Staples take that question.
… The hope is that, like Fisher at Florida State, Smart can replicate the recruiting system, player development program and infrastructure of Saban’s program at Alabama.
The Bulldogs tried to incorporate elements of Saban’s program in 2014 by bringing in former Saban and Fisher assistant Jeremy Pruitt to run the defense. But, as any Breaking Bad viewer knows, half measures rarely produce the desired result. Pruitt agitated for bigger changes to make Georgia more like Alabama, but that didn’t necessarily jive with the culture put in place by Richt. For this approach to work, everyone in the program must be pulling in the same direction.
And athletic director Greg McGarity had better be ready to spend some money. The Bulldogs are already building an indoor practice facility, but Smart will likely want to beef up the staff with a host of analysts and quality control personnel. When Fisher took over at Florida State prior to the 2010 season, he beefed up the academic advising staff, the analyst/quality control staff and the strength staff. He hired dietitians to monitor what players ate. He also helped raise money for a new dorm for players and for the indoor facility that the Seminoles opened in ’13. Muschamp, by comparison, didn’t get everything on his wish list at Florida. When he was fired, the Gators had no indoor facility. McElwain, however, got the indoor facility he wanted and has been allowed to create some—but not all—of the support staff positions he wants.
Georgia already has most of what Smart will need, but he’ll want more. One thing Saban and Fisher stressed when I interviewed them for that Sabanization story is that program infrastructure is as important, or possibly more important, than a team’s X’s and O’s.
It’s not simply spending more money that solves things. It’s spending more money wisely. That, by and large, should be within the exclusive purview of the football coach. It’s the AD’s job to set a budget; it’s the coach’s job to maximize the resources made available to him. That hasn’t been the Georgia Way.
And that hasn’t changed, at least not yet. If the rumors about the negotiations between Georgia and Smart’s representatives are accurate, this is what the haggling is over. It’s a big deal if you care about the direction the program takes from here. If you want change, you shouldn’t be rooting for Smart to walk away from the deal. You should be rooting for Smart to win.